Altered connections between neocortical and heterotopic areas in methylazoxymethanol-treated rat

Claudia Colacitti, Giulio Sancini, Silvana Franceschetti, Flaminio Cattabeni, Giuliano Avanzini, Roberto Spreafico, Monica Di Luca, Giorgio Battaglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We are currently investigating various treatments which could determine, in the rat brain, structural abnormalities mimicking those reported in human brain dysgeneses. We can induce the formation of neuronal heterotopia in the progeny of rats by means of a double injection of the cytotoxic agent methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) on embryonic day 15. We have now investigated the anatomical connections of these heterotopia by means of anterograde and retrograde tract tracing techniques. The induced heterotopia along the border of the lateral ventricles shared common anatomical features with the periventricular nodules in human periventricular or subcortical nodular heterotopia (PNH). The tract tracing data demonstrated the existence of reciprocal connections between the neuronal heterotopia and the ipsilateral and contralateral cortical areas, and the presence of abnormal cortico-hippocampal and cortico-cortical connections. On the basis of the connectivity patterns, it may be speculated that some cells in the heterotopia could be neurons originally committed to the cortex, that were interrupted in their migration by the MAM treatment. Given the common morphological features seen in human PNH and MAM-induced brain heterotopia, the anatomical and developmental analysis of MAM-treated rats may shed light on the mechanisms by which human brain dysgeneses develop in human patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-62
Number of pages14
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 1998


  • Brain development
  • Brain dysgenesis
  • Cerebral migrational and organizational disorders
  • MAM
  • Neuronal migration
  • Periventricular nodular heterotopia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology


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